Monday, June 9, 2008


Carson Park Ranger says:

"Charisma seems to be the most salient quality which we require from our political candidates. Ronald Reagan had it. Michael Dukakis didn't. Lincoln wouldn't stand a chance of being elected now-a-days."

I hate to think that a man that could stir people so deeply with just a few short sentences could not be elected today. But certainly, it caused me to think about it. What else did Lincoln have going for him that made him so popular in his day?

Of course we all think of him as the man that freed the slaves. Eric Kirk has of theories of him as the man that saved the Union. I won't expound on Eric's theories, because I can't do them justice.

The thing that I most remember about him is the stories of his delivery of the Gettysburg Address. Everyone was expecting a long and tedious speech. When he got up to the podium and made his short speech, less than three minutes, the crowd was left in dead silence. He was able to move the crowd so deeply that they were silent in awe of Lincoln's great communicating skills. Lincoln was disappointed by the lack of on ovation and thought that his speech had failed, until he later found out that it was regarded as one of the greatest speeches in U.S. history.

I am fortunate to have Kim Sallaway as a friend, and he travels around the country, and the world, as a professional photographer. He is very observant of human nature, as I believe you need to be if you are going to capture a persons soul on a photograph. He sent me the following photograph and description of Danny Glover, and it stuck me with the parallels to Abe Lincoln. I'm not sure which words were Kims and which were Danny Glover's but this is what I received from him:

"We need to rethink the way we impact the planet! We need to consider what we can do to improve the hopes of the billions of people on this planet who live on less than $1000. a year. We need to look to sustainability and conservation. We need to walk more, drive less, care more about others we don't know, and won't ever know. Then we are making a visible difference. A little impact made by a lot of people makes a big impact.
Danny Glover is a powerful orator. At the Harmony Festival he gave a short meaningful talk to the audience as they waited to hear Damian Marley. I was impressed by his lack of extra verbiage and his strong passionate way of sharing his opinions.
Be the change you wish to see in the world.
Be fun."


I told Kim that I wanted to "Steal" his words and his photograph, and why. He said go for it!
It is probably one of the few times that I've asked for permission to do the things that I do, but I do make small exceptions in dealing with someone of Kims talent. The reason that I wanted to use his words is that it stuck me that; here was a black man, that in Lincolns day was thought of as less than human. One-hundred and forty-five years later, a black man, who is a member of the race of people that Lincoln helped to save, was using much of the same kind of oratory that Lincoln used, and saying some of the same things.

We need to join in the cause of America.
"that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom—and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth."
Abraham Lincoln


Carol said...

Great photo of Danny Glover! I have become a fan of Kim's work.

Kym said...

I've enjoyed your last posts on why some get elected and others won't run.

The one thing we all need to remember is the way this democracy works is for everyone to work at making it work. I could start paying attention earlier and focus harder on the issues. We all could.

Anonymous said...

Hey Ernie, just read some of your comments on Erics blog. Are you stupid?

Ernie Branscomb said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Fred Frimble said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Ernie Branscomb said...

I made what in my mind was a very witty reply to anonymous, who came all the way over here to point out that I'm stupid. He/she must really feel that, or they wouldn't have said it.

I was mean, and I don't like being mean, so I deleted my remarks, and the remarks of the guy that agreed with me. We were both mean.

I just wish I knew why anonymous thinks that I'm stupid. It kind of hurts my feelings!

Carol said...

You are very bright and intelligent, Ernie!

Ernie Branscomb said...

Carol. Thank-you!

Shallow person that I am, you just made me feel all good again!

You and Greg have been suffering a little unfairness yourself lately.

I find it humorous that "anoymous" goes to great lengths to protect their identity, but then they seem to use their hidden identity to hurt other people and other candidates.

I agree that in America you have the privilege of making anonymous comments, but I was taught that with great privilege comes great responsibility. Some people just don’t feel that burden of responsibility, in fact I don’t think that they even understand the concept.

Carson Park Ranger said...

I'm always happy to see deleted comments. It shows that the blog administrator cares.

Back to Lincoln: he was wise, eloquent, witty and humane, but he had a high-pitched voice. This would have made him ineligible for national office in TV-land America. His brilliance would not translate well into sound-bites.

Reagan's Morning in America has turned out to be more of a hangover.

Anonymous said...

Lincoln had other characteristics that helped him. CPR alluded to his wit. Lincoln was in fact one hell of a story-teller. He knew how to draw people in and then drop the punchline on them before they knew what hit them. A hell of a humorist, every bit as entertaining as Leno or Letterman.

Once he was in office, Lincoln used a technique that more bloggers ought to consider. When he was angry with one of his generals or a member of his cabinet, he would write a scathing letter - and then put in into a drawer! He came back to it the next day, read it, and in many, perhaps most cases, he re-wrote the letter. Why? Because he wanted the recipient to be able to accept the criticism and act on it, instead of having his feelings hurt, doing permanent harm to the relationship between them.